Namco Bandai bring outrageous carnage-style action to Wii U with Tank! Tank! Tank!, a game that requires three exclamation marks just to put across precisely what it entails.
Previously existing as an enormously popular arcade game across Japan and North America, its concept is a fairly simple one: drive with wreckless abandon around cities in a tank, gather weapon pick-ups to neutralise mechanised monsters, and cause collateral damage by crushing buildings in the process.
Under such premise it works well, with the addition of numerous players heightening the hilarity that ensues as you level an entire metropolis. Weapons at your disposal prove equally satisfying, including the electrifying Plasma Bolt, explosive Missile Rack, fiery Flamethrower, devastating Colossus Missile and the scorching Mega Beam. Each appear as creates on the battlefield, and prove useful when deployed in their own unique methods.
What immediately detracts is the lack of involvement. Despite the invested functionality of the Wii U GamePad, Namco Bandai fail to employ use of the controller in any compelling way. Targeting is automatic, with players only left to steer their tank and fire weapons when appropriate. Clearly designed to suit to a younger audience, it proves entirely disengaging, and, ultimately, lazy.
Players can tackle co-operative and competitive modes, working together towards a common goal to tackle enemies and gigantic bosses, trying to take out an opposing team, or going head-to-head to kill as many opponents as possible within the time limit.
Making use of the Wii U GamePad’s camera, players must snap a mugshot of themselves within the game’s co-operative and competitive modes which they may adorn with accessories such as cartoon wigs, masks or helmets. These are then used in-game, appearing above each player’s tank so that you may easily identify who’s who.
If there was any further cause for worry, from what we’ve played there doesn’t seem to be that much content available across the game to keep you occupied for long, hampered further by a distinct lack of any variety or depth. Add the fact that Tank! Tank! Tank! is one of the least visually arresting titles amongst the Wii U launch line-up, and it is clear to see why retailers are pricing the game at around £24.99, nearly half the price of other launch software.
There is short-term fun to be had here, especially with friends, so it shouldn’t be so readily dismissed. Yet those wanting a more demanding experience may need to look elsewhere.